Desktops forum


Advice needed: Should I go from PC to Apple?

by peggylenox / March 2, 2016 1:58 PM PST

In the more than 25 years that I've been messing around with computers, I've always had a PC, usually a Dell. My current Dell has been terrific, but it is XP and is getting old -- about eight years, I think. I know it's going to need to be replaced soon. I don't have any current loyalty about Dell. I have become very taken with Apple iPhone and iPad. They're amazing! So, I just want some thoughts: are Macs really as good as they are cracked up to be by the long time Apple users? Is it a difficult transition? If I stick with PC, what's the current best choice? Look forward to suggestions. My PC is still working, but I sense I should do some planning.

Thanks, Peggy

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All Answers

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From what I can feel,
by Oldartq / March 2, 2016 3:26 PM PST

you go for it! I been using PC for over 50 years and had never touch an Apple and most likely won't either. I think I have tried them all, except Apple and Android.

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PCs in 65, wow
by jpculver / March 5, 2016 6:21 PM PST
In reply to: From what I can feel,

Sure wish I had a PC in 1965. Best I could do was a sliderule.

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1965? Mine was an Apple PC then.
by James Denison / March 6, 2016 5:49 AM PST
In reply to: PCs in 65, wow

Post was last edited on March 11, 2016 2:49 PM PST

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slide rule
by padyboy / March 12, 2016 4:34 PM PST
In reply to: PCs in 65, wow

I remember using a slide rule in my senior Physical Chemistry final exam ~1971. It produced 3 -fig answers to problems, with certain statistical doubt in the last figure.

There was no such thing as a "calculator" in those days.

Thanx for the reminder.

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Wasn't that good enough
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 12, 2016 4:38 PM PST
In reply to: slide rule

For atomic bomb calculations? Close enough?

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by chanrs / March 12, 2016 7:47 PM PST
In reply to: slide rule

Back in the 60's when I was working in Flight Operations for British Overseas Airways we used Abacus to do all the calculations as there was no Computers not Calculators. And it worked fine. When we went for training in London, UK, we, those who used Abacus, always finished our Flight Plans first and most accurate than all the other people.

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slide rule
by William Sommerwerck / March 13, 2016 8:42 AM PDT
In reply to: slide rule

Personal electronic calculators (such as the Bowmar) existed at least as early as 1971.

Mechanical calculators existed even earlier. I remember using a Smith-Corona in 1965. It could calculate to many decimal places. And who can forget the Curta?

The first personal scientific calculator was the HP-35 in 1972. Though costing $400, it was so useful that HP couldn't make them fast enough. It must be emphasized that the HP-35 was not merely the first personal scientific calculator, but the first true pocket calculator. It actually fit the pocket of a dress shirt (Bill Hewlett's, I believe).

My aunt bought me one, and I was one of three undergraduates at the University of Maryland who owned one. (At that time, tuitions was $400/semester.)

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Invented the PC? Interesting
by enarwpg / March 12, 2016 4:06 AM PST
In reply to: From what I can feel,

Anyone who claims they had a PC in 1965 is either delusional and out of touch with reality or doesn't know what they're talking about, including commenting about the joys of using OSX over the dreadful Windows operating system.

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by rick8one / March 12, 2016 5:59 AM PST

Or they lived in TV land...

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50 years on a PC?
by walldoo99 / March 12, 2016 7:58 AM PST
In reply to: From what I can feel,

It's sad when people can't do basic math. Did you PC 50 years ago have one of those 4 Mb hard drives the size of a washing machine. If I remember correctly the first PC was in 1975 and it was a MITS Altair and it was a kit. the Apple 1 was a year later

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PC for 50 yrs
by dcketter / March 12, 2016 1:45 PM PST
In reply to: From what I can feel,

I think a bit of exageration. First PC kit was Altair only 41 yrs ago

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Abacus is not PC
by Sang Trinh / March 13, 2016 5:43 PM PDT
In reply to: From what I can feel,

Commodore Business Machines introduced PET in 1977, 3 years later it shows case Vic20, a 8 bit home computer, using an add-on cassette tape to read and write using Basic programming language, it did not call itself as a Personal Computer ( PC ).

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First Use of "PC"
by Hforman / March 15, 2016 1:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Abacus is not PC

The first computer ever to be called a PC (note capital letters) or "Personal Computer" was the IBM PC XT. Since then, Intel-architecture computers (Dell, Gateway, Lenovo, ASUS, HP, etc.). Apple never referred to its own products as PCs. The early computers were not called PCs. These include the Altair, Commodore, the TRS-80, etc. There was a Commodore PC in the 90's but that was a true PC as the hardware was an IBM 486-D2 66 mHz. Today, people call any desktop computer used by primarily one person as a "PC" but in the 1980's PC refereed to clones and derivatives of the IBM/Intel architecture.

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Picking nits on PC history
by MightyDrakeC / March 15, 2016 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: First Use of "PC"

The press and common usage of the time was to equate "PC" with the IBM line of computers. But, at the same time, the spelled out phrase "personal computer" was used to refer more generically to any of the microcomputers available at the time, including the products available prior to the release of the IBM PC.

The other small computers of the time were referred to as "personal computers" prior to the release of the IBM PC. For example, PET 2001-8 Personal Computer User Manual (1978-10)(Commodore) .

Also, there was an IBM PC released a couple of years prior to the IBM PC XT. The XT was the first of the IBM line to come with a hard drive as an option out of the box.

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Microcomputers before PC's
by ninderie1 / March 16, 2016 6:10 PM PDT

I believe the first computers were called "microcomputers". I had my first in about 1978 called a Cromenco. It used 8" floppies although later versions had a HD option. They were first based on the 8080 microchip but a later chip was called the Z80 which was a souped up 8080. The Windows architecture was also based on the 8080.
My next "microcomputer" was an IMS machine in the early 1980's. It was a multi-terminal machine & used CP/M. It had an AMPEX HD that had only about 96meg. It weighed over 200 lbs & took a couple of people to move. Eventually, I "graduated" to the IBM PC.

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by MightyDrakeC / June 11, 2016 3:14 AM PDT

The early '70s was when the hardware of computers began to scale down while the market began to explode. You had mainframes, which were the big rack-mounted machines. Then, some companies came out with what they called minicomputers. Also rack-mounted, but more of the components were consolidated. These were generally 16-bit machines.

The first machine I worked on was the DEC PDP-11/05, in '77. I was in jr high at the time, and my mom wouldn't allow my dad to set the machine up in the house. So, it was in the garage. In Texas. Many days it was too hot or too cold to run. The CPU in that machine, just the CPU, was the size of today's desktop computers. Ours had 48k words of memory, and two 2 MB hard drives. We had to use paper tape for diagnostics, when the machine had problems. Later, he added another two hard drives, and dual 8" floppies.

Then came the microcomputers. These were usually 8-bit machines, that used Large Scale Integration (LSI,) to put the entire CPU onto a single chip. The first commercially available LSI chip was the Intel 4004. That was upgraded to the 8008, then 8080. That was considered a solid design, and there were several kit computers, and a few turnkey systems based around it. The 8080 was cloned and extended by Zilog and released as the Z80, which was even more popular.

Intel then made some evolutionary changes to create the 8086 and 8088 families of CPUs. These were sort of hybrid 8-bit and 16-bit CPUs. They had 8-bit registers, but they could be paired up for certain functions to make 16 bits. The memory addressing was essentially 12-bit. They were still referred to as microcomputers. I think mostly because of the LSI packaging.

Microsoft never ran Windows on the 8080. They did have a version of the BASIC language that ran on some of the early microprocessors. I know it ran on a Z80, It probably ran on some 8080 boxes, because the architecture of the CPU was very similar.

Then, Microsoft landed the deal to provide the operating system for the 8088-based IBM PC. They purchased a company that had an operating system already written for that CPU, and customized it for IBM. But, they were savvy enough to retain the rights to sell it widely. That was the start of PC-DOS and MS-DOS.

Windows 1.0 through 3.0 ran on 8086/8088 hardware. I tried a copy of v1.0 for a day or two. It didn't run very well, but it did run. By the time of v1.0, the 80286 was out, which, of course, was a lot faster.. By the time of v3.0, the 80386 was available. Microsoft then tweaked Windows a little to take advantage of some of the features of the 80386, and released Windows 3.1. Most consider that the first really viable version of Windows.

By this time, the Mac had been around for a few years. And so on.

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when you get your new computer
by James Denison / March 2, 2016 4:15 PM PST
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Throw Linux on your old one
by peggylenox / March 2, 2016 4:26 PM PST

So what does that mean? Sorry to sound dumb!

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explained by Nixie Pixel
by James Denison / March 2, 2016 4:32 PM PST
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Linux is worse than Windows for anyone seeking ease of use.
by peter.mortensen / March 11, 2016 10:46 PM PST

I've used Linux quite a lot professionally but seriously, it's not a viable OS for anyone seeking the best in ease of use. If you are considering Mac OS instead of Windows, going the Linux route will be even further in the opposite direction of what Mac OS is good at and the entire question becomes dumb.

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Refreshing to see someone post honestly about Linux
by pixelriffic / March 12, 2016 6:38 AM PST

I too have used Linux for years professionally. I find it annoying when others claim that Linux is a viable desktop replacement for Windows Or Mac. It is most definitely not. It is a stable and strong core OS, and is great for servers, and certain other applications. It does not have the application support, nor does it have the ease of use either Apple or MS offers. I think Linux users do more harm than good when they encourage average users to make the switch.

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That's funny?
by JCitizen / March 12, 2016 11:22 AM PST

I never had any trouble with Puppy, but then that is all the OS I need - just the basics. Actually I only use it to access my bank, and I do it from a LiveCD, so no malware can ever write to the drive.

And yes specially crafted malware can affect Linux now that the ubiquitous Android has become so popular. Vulnerabilites are farther and fewer between, but still discovered occasionally; so it is good that Linux now updates automatically.

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by lighthorse35 / March 12, 2016 2:25 PM PST

I've been using Ubuntu for several years now and with the free updates it has been running fine with few burps like I have had with windows. In fact I had a terrible upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10 on a computer that has zero troubles with each new version of Ubuntu. Remember there is multiple versions of Linux operating systems out there. Also remember you can test drive a Distro from the DVD or put your Windows in a shell and have a dual boot hard drive and , for me it was the cost of a magazine in the computer section of a bookstore and the latest version of Ubuntu came with it along with a full explanation.

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Linux Mint variations
by pgc3 / March 13, 2016 3:09 PM PDT

For the basic/average computer user I'd say that the newer variations, specifically Mint, I use 17 Qiana, are as easy to use as Win 7 and possibly easier than 8.1 or 10. The earlier distros can be a little tricky to deal with.

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You don't need to throw out old computers.
by lighthorse35 / March 12, 2016 2:20 PM PST

An old computer that has a small hard drive , like 250 GB will run fine with Linux systems involved. The latest run of Ubuntu still takes less than 12 MB to give you a fully loaded and running system. Don't even try Windows on that entire hard drive. You can then test drive it on an old computer. I used a PII 600 with 125 MB hard drive as a test for 3 years and it often ran faster than my Quad Core Win 10 does.

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Old Computers?!
by tramky / March 12, 2016 4:10 PM PST

I've got a stack of laptops, from MacBooks from 14 years ago to 2 or 3 HP Windows machines that had problems. The old MacBooks are dim and slow The newest HP laptop, purchased not even 2 years ago, is literally coming apart at the seams. Build quality is near zero. And it is loaded and running with Windows 8.1. Don't get me started on that.

But moving to a new Macbook is interesting. It's ALL in the user interface. It behaves differently in innumerable and annoying ways, from backspacing and deleting characters to the absurd and thoughtless need to 'eject' USB devices connected to Macs.

And finding how to alter the size of the font being displayed--you are given 3 or 4 choices that it will jump to if chosen, but no apparent ability to simply provide a smooth glide throughout the range--old and clunky function.

My next steps are to try to load documents, music photos and images backed up from the Windows machine onto the new Macbook Pro. Sounds like there will be annoying issues in organizing photos and videos. The photos are all organized into a large number of folders (Windows folders). This may be a disaster when loading to the Macbook Pro, but hopefully not.

Then there will be the software that I have used on Windows, such as a Foxit PDF program. And a handful of other things like TurboTax, an astronomy application. Maybe a few others. Will be fun--or not.

In the end I want one Windows machine and this Macbook Pro, which will hopefully become the primary machine for me. All the rest will have their hard drives formatted and they will be donated or recycled.

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You're dreaming!
by JCitizen / March 13, 2016 12:26 AM PST
In reply to: Old Computers?!

Do it all, and come back and tell us how it turned out - don't leave out any details, or we might not believe you at all! Laugh

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Means nothing
by BosoxMan / March 13, 2016 3:01 AM PDT

Linux fans just can't help themselves sometimes.

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by Oldartq / March 2, 2016 8:45 PM PST

she'll fit right in with Apple. Linux might be too adventurous.

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"She'll" fit right in
by peggylenox / March 3, 2016 9:13 AM PST
In reply to: Nah...

Now that's a pretty snippy post! I've just never investigated Linux. My only reason for posting this to see if there is any reason to change to Apple after so many years with PC. Maybe I should have posted this in Apple -- they would probably all tell me to go with Apple!

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